This month the Louvre reopened the 33 Decorative Arts galleries after a $35 million renovation that lasted nine years. A stroll through the 23,000 square foot space is an immersion in opulence with period rooms that are jaw-dropping in their gilded splendour. The Wall Street Journal says it best, “No one could decorate like the French aristocracy.”

There are some 2,000 pieces of furniture and objets d’art from the Louis XIV to the Louis XVI periods. Helming the redesign was renowned French decorator Jacques Garcia, who has made a name for himself in hotel design and heritage projects like the Hôtel Mansart de Sagonne in the Marais district.

Entire rooms were recreated from actual châteaux and hôtels particuliers. Of special interest is the drawing room from the Hôtel Dangé-Villemaré, which was located at the prestigious address of 9, Place Vendôme. (Other rooms include the Grand Salon of the Château d’Abondant and the bedchamber at the Hôtel de Chevreuse.)

The collection even includes famous objects like Marie Antoinette’s writing desk and Madame de Pompadour’s coffee grinder. A special thanks to The American Friends of the Louvre, who raised $4 million for the renovation fund.

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Mary Winston Nicklin
Based in Paris, Nicklin is the Web Editor of France Today. She is also the Editor of Bonjour Paris, the site's sister publication. As a freelance journalist, she has contributed to publications like The Washington Post, Condé Nast Traveler, Rhapsody, Travel Agent Magazine, Luxury Travel Advisor, Afar and USAToday.com.

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